Daylight Savings Time ended Sunday, which means shorter days, darker commutes, and the kickoff of the Fall 2010 Street Smart Campaign.
Since 2002, Arlington County and neighboring municipalities in Virginia, Washington, DC, and suburban Maryland have joined forces on a public awareness and enforcement campaign, Street Smart. The campaign is designed to educate drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and the general public about safely sharing the roads.
The Fall 2010 Street Smart campaign kicked off at 12:30 p.m. today with a ceremony at Rosslyn Central Space on Wilson Blvd. between N. Moore and N. Lynn Streets (site of the old Tom Sarris Orleans House). The ceremony featured remarks by elected officials, including Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette and Board member Mary Hynes, as well as law enforcement leaders from northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths in the Washington metropolitan area, the Street Smart campaign is sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). The campaign emphasizes education of motorists and pedestrians through mass media and is meant to complement the efforts of state local governments and agencies to build safer streets and sidewalks, enforce laws, and train better drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Arlington County’s participation in this annual campaign includes Arlington County Police conducting live pedestrian safety enforcement at a notoriously busy intersection in Rosslyn. Law enforcement officers are encouraging proper yielding to pedestrians and drivers alike. In recent months, Arlington County has also implemented the following measures to help ensure pedestrian safety:
- The Arlington County Board adopted a sustainability initiative for 2010 that includes a strong bicycle and pedestrian access and safety component.
- Arlington County launched the Neighborhood 25 initiative a new public awareness campaign designed to remind motorists to slow down in neighborhoods where children play and walk to school.
- Arlington County is continuing to phase out the use of brick crosswalks and is moving towards the use of high-visibility crosswalks on arterial streets to improve safety.
- Arlington County is distributing Safe Bicycling in the Washington Area booklets, written by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association as well as Sharing the Road in Virginia – Laws and Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Pedestrians written by BikeWalk Virginia. Both are available in English and Spanish.
The Fall Street Smart campaign continues for a few weeks, with ads on-line, on air, and on billboards, trains, and buses around the region. So as you adjust to Standard Time, pay attention to the ads, be aware of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, and be smart--Street Smart.